.By Chinonye Anyatonwu
Western Marine Command, the ‘Amphibian’ arm of the Nigeria Customs Services(NCS) has made the biggest achievement in the history of the Command, as they made huge seizures of #1.1b between January to December, 2020.
According to the statement made available to the press by the Image Maker of the Command, Isah Suleiman said the seizures of those smuggled items were made on South Western waterways and Creeks.
He said that on resumption of office, the Customs Area Controller of the command, Compt. Olugboyega Peters re-jigged the operational activities of the command with the sole aim of blocking the porocity of the Creeks in order to suppress smuggling activities along our territorial waters.
The controller in the statement stated that the command seized 81 items from January to December of the year under review.
“It may interest you to know that these strategies led to the seizures of 81 different items From January to December, 2020 with Total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of One Billion, One Hundred and Four Million, Six Hundred and Forty-Seven Thuosand, Three Hundred and Seventy Naira(#104,647,370.00) only as against the Total DPV of One Hundred and Twenty Nine million, Five Hundred and Fifty-Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Fifty-Six Naira, Forty Six lobo(#129,559,656.46) in the year 2019.
“These unprecedented seizures were made as a result of the strategies put in place in terms of 24hour patrol, capacity building, surveillance, intelligence gathering, doggedness and determination of our operatives in making the Zone unbearable for smugglers.
“I want to use this medium to appreciate the efforts of other sister agencies for their contributions in providing relevant information in making some of these seizures.
“Gentlemen of the press, you may recall that the operatives of the Command had on the 24th April 2020 made a unique seizure of over 10tonnes of Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana) valued at One Billion, Two Million, Fifty Thousand Naira (#1,002,050,000.00) only which happened to be the biggest single item catch of Marijuana ever seized in the history of Nigeria Customs Service.
“This feat has received national and international commendations; the Comptroller General of Customs on behalf of the Management recognised the outstanding performance of the Officers and Men involved in the seizure with commendation letters.
Compt. Peters also stated that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) has recognised the Command and they are about to install a Video Tele-
Conferencing (VTC) Cisco Web Ex equipment that will aid our operations in the maritime industry.
” The equipment is funded under the auspices of the Government of Denmark aimed at strengthening maritime law enforcement response to piracy and other maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea.
“These seizures are strong indications that the operatives of the Command are Combat-ready in policing and enforcing the Federal Government Fiscal Policies despite the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.
He assure that his officers and Men under his leadership will perform their statutory responsibilities in line with the policy thrust of the present administration of Zero tolerance to corruption and other vices.
He however warned smugglers to desist from their nefarious trade, threatening that there is no hiding place for them.
In addition, Compt. Peters appreciated the effort of the press for their determination in disseminating the effort of the service in anti-Smuggling drive.
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